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Category: Carly Patent (page 1 of 2)

For the Love of the Game by Carly Patent

There’s nothing quite like the smell of a new can of tennis balls, the momentary sense of amazement when hitting the perfect drop shot, the feeling of unraveling a tattered, highly discolored grip, the joy of holding up a single finger to signify that your opponent’s shot is out, or the pressure of a sudden death tie breaker. Over the past few weeks, I have come to realize that tennis is a game that I truly love, no pun intended!

I started playing tennis when I was five years old—about the same time when I decided that it was too scary to move up to a higher level in gymnastics. My mom had played tennis in college, and she encouraged me to give it a try since one of my friends was also planning on taking lessons. After my first lesson, I was thrilled that I could hit the ball by holding my racquet with just one hand and that my ball could reach the rafters in the indoor facility (although I later realized that you didn’t get any bonus points for hitting the ceiling). It was also quite promising that after each lesson, my parents allowed me to get a snack out of the vending machine—because who doesn’t feel the need to pig out after a successful workout?

In high school, tennis was not just a weekly activity. I joined my high school’s tennis team, which had been the goal of my short tennis career. With every tennis lesson that I took, every ball that I hit, and every brightly colored Nike hat that I purchased leading up to it, I believed that I was one step closer to achieving that goal. In my freshman year, I was fortunate to have made the varsity team, and as the years progressed, I continually rose up the ladder. The dreaded August pre-season practices, challenge matches, and nerve-wracking, gut-wrenching, nail-biting third sets were always overshadowed by the inside jokes among my teammates, the bagels after 7-0 wins, the apparel that we all could not wait to wear around school on match days, the end-of-season parties at my coach’s house, and the four varsity letters that I received.

During my senior year, I was paired with one of my best friends—the one with whom I had taken lessons when we were five years old—as my doubles partner. It was crazy to see how we had gone from little girls who pretended to play the guitar with our racquets to teenagers who could work together on the court and derive winning strategies. That year, for the first time in my school’s history, our team won the District Finals, sending us to Hershey to play in the PIAA Girls’ Tennis Championships. For us, this was an incredible achievement, celebrating not only our hard work throughout the season but our commitment to the game as well. Tennis was literally what we breathed, ate, and slept—in fact, our coach instructed us to picture hitting winners in our sleep. We were victorious in our first match in Hershey and advanced to the semi-final round. After an extensive three-set match, my doubles partner and I pulled out a grueling win! Unfortunately, our team lost 4-3. While it was upsetting to come so close to a state title, my time in Hershey encompassed my tennis career; I played with my best friend, my parents surprised me and watched me play since they previously had to hide behind bushes for all of my other matches upon my very strict orders, and I ended my high school career with a medal around my neck—in addition to new apparel!

At times, tennis had been a source of great frustration in my life. After I got back from states, I took a year off from playing the sport. It had been such a time-consuming and mentally challenging aspect of my life, so I decided that a break would be good for me to focus on other things. When I would pick up my brother from his tennis lessons, watching people hit would make me suddenly feel the need to text my coach and ask to set up a lesson, but for some reason, I could never get myself to send the message.

Ironically, during the past two summers, I worked at a day camp as a tennis specialist. I found that my job served as my passage back into tennis. I was on the court every day feeding balls, creating games, running drills, and modeling different shots. My summer life was always consumed with tennis, but what made this different was that it was noncompetitive.

Upon coming to the University of Delaware, I decided not to formally pursue tennis during my freshman year. I did, however, bring my racquet and a few cans of balls in hopes of just hitting around with some of my new friends—that was, if I could successfully navigate the campus to actually find the tennis courts, which I will embarrassingly admit, did not happen until this year.

I thought that I would most likely never play tennis for a team again.  But, my feeling changed earlier this year. Looking to get more involved on campus, I perused the list of different clubs and activities. I wanted something that fit my interests, would help me meet new people, and would be most importantly, fun. I stumbled upon Club Tennis on the list, and it brought back all of my amazing memories. After looking on their website, stalking their social media accounts—because what college student today does not possess FBI-worthy skills—and examining my schedule, I decided to do what any independent undergrad would do: I called my mom. Looking back on our phone conversation that day, my mom tells me that she was shocked that I even entertained the thought of Club Tennis, as she had been my source for guidance when my love of the game started to diminish. She encouraged me to go for it as I had nothing to lose.

I am so happy to say that after practicing my serve every day leading up to tryouts, trekking to the courts at Newark High School, and strategically coordinating my tennis skirts with my Nike hats, I am officially one of the newest members of the University of Delaware Club Tennis team! As I am writing this blog post, I have been on the team for exactly one month, and it has been one of the best months of my college career. Not only has tennis served as a form of exercise, but it has allowed me to strengthen my skills, enabled me to meet people and build friendships, escape the stresses of everyday life, and make me a more confident person. So, as the semester is still just beginning, I encourage you to use me as an example. Try to find something that will bring you as much joy as Club Tennis has for me. There are an infinite number of clubs, activities, and social events available to you. Don’t be afraid to take a risk, step out of your comfort zone, or rekindle a previous passion that you thought you had given up. After all, you may find that your “love” is out there waiting for you to uncover it!

“Time Flies When UD’s Having Fun” by Carly Patent

Recalling my first day of kindergarten comes easily to me. I wore a purple dress with flowers and a pair of pristine white sandals. My backpack, which was almost as big as me, was bright pink with tiny light pink and purple flowers decorating the straps. My lunchbox was decked out with everything Cinderella, from a picture of her in her huge blue ball gown to cut outs of her glass slipper and animal friends. Around my neck hung a piece of yarn with a laminated bus dangling from it, serving as a form of identification detailing my name, teacher’s name, grade, bus number, bus stop, and classroom number. As the bright yellow school bus approached the bus stop at the corner of my street, I hugged my mom and brother goodbye, climbed onto the bus, and sat in the first seat as any novice student would do. Continue reading

“I Scream, You Scream, UD Screams for Ice Cream” by Carly Patent

It’s no secret that we love our UDairy at the University of Delaware. Upon touring the campus as prospective students, we are spoon fed it (forgive the pun), oftentimes for free—perhaps anticipating that potential students will want to apply after having tasted UDairy. Even our beloved former Vice President Joe Biden has been known to enjoy a double scoop of UDairy’s chocolate and vanilla. Walking around campus, it’s likely that you are never too far from a UDairy-supporting site. At the Dining Hall, you can feast on ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—not the best idea if you are trying to prevent the “Freshman 15.” While studying in Barnes and Noble, you can purchase a pint for a quick pick-me-up, or perhaps you will be fortunate enough to spot the black and white Moo Mobile while walking to or from class. On a nice day, you may consider making the well-worth-it trek to the Creamery store. Here at UD, our ice cream is always in high demand; it’s hard to dislike a cup or cone of this cold creamy concoction, especially when it’s covered in blue and yellow sprinkles!

Over spring break, my friends and I realized that eating ice cream from our favorite ice cream shops or store bought brands was not the same. Take for instance, my all-time favorite flavor, Fudge Ripple. Due to my constant whining, my mom knows to keep at least a half-gallon of this vanilla ice cream laced with heaping amounts of chocolate fudge in our freezer at all times. When I got my wisdom teeth out over winter break, I decided that the “Freshman 15” did not apply, and I lived on this stuff for an entire week. One night over spring break, I had a craving for ice cream and decided to break out my beloved Fudge Ripple. Upon taking just one bite, it was apparent to me that the ice cream I used to enjoy thoroughly just wasn’t the same after having been spoiled with UDairy for so many months. I graciously offered it to my family members and threw away my “Do Not Eat!” note which I had strategically stuck to the lid.

I’m not exactly sure what makes UDairy so special—whether it is the zillions of unique flavors or the specialty of choosing something that I know is limited to UD’s campus. I do know, however, that it may be one thing that unites all University of Delaware students. Whether you are a chocoholic who craves Delaware River Mud Pie, a yuppie who prefers exotic flavors like Fig-Goat-a ‘Bout It!, or someone who is content with just a scoop of vanilla, you will always find something at UDairy. They even have different flavors of sorbet for my dairy-free friends. As an added bonus, UDairy comes out with limited-time seasonal flavors for holidays, which serve as justification for going over and trying them. From Millburn Orchards-inspired Apple Cider Donut in the fall and wintry Peppermint Bark to Chocolate Covered Strawberry for Valentine’s Day and the classic St. Patrick’s Day’s Irish Potato, it’s easy to tell which holidays and special occasions are coming up based just on UDairy’s flavor list.

As the weather gets warmer and the thought of sipping on a piping hot latte no longer seems appealing, UDairy ice cream should come to mind. As nice days become more plentiful in the Spring, consider a brisk walk to the Creamery as a nice distraction to the impending finals stress. Who knows, you may even catch a glimpse of one of the one hundred cows roaming around (unless you prefer to just buy yourself a cute stuffed one from inside instead)! Now, though, I do know that this summer my fellow Blue Hens and I may feel a sense of loss as we return home for our summer breaks. Luckily, the Creamery ships pints in coolers stuffed with dry ice—so that we never have to go a day without our beloved UDairy. I believe that it is definitely safe to say that UD screams for ice cream!

“Sun Rays and Snow Days” by Carly Patent

Hi everybody! Carly Patent, here, reporting live from the University of Delaware campus right here in Newark. As anyone who has left their dorm in the past couple weeks knows, we’ve been having some crazy weather lately, and word on the street is that it’s only going to get crazier. From sunny days in the high seventies to flurries in the mid-teens, I’ve got your winter weather report so that you’ll never have to worry again about when to rock the snow boots and when to break out the flip flops—stay tuned!

Continue reading

“Seas the Day” by Carly Patent

Palm trees, sun-kissed skin, oceans clear as glass, sandy beaches, and rainbow-speckled sunsets were just some of the treasures that my family and I enjoyed during our vacation to Palm Beach, Aruba during winter break. Throughout my trip to Aruba, I welcomed ashore some great souvenirs and memories that will keep me happy as a clam in these first few weeks of the semester. Continue reading

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